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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning Guys. I have been on this site for years and have always fished the lake. However, I finally upgraded from my jet-ski and wading around PIB days and we got a boat. I've been out a few times and haven't had any luck trolling when seemingly everyone else is catching as they please. Running a Sailfish 275 w twin Yamaha 200's. Docked out of PIB and fish the islands. So, here is what I've done and what im curious about:

1. Trolling: I was shutting one engine down and running one at 600rpm. This was getting me a reading of anywhere from 1.5-1.8kts on my maps for my over ground speed. I've also tried a couple combos. I ran bandits and reef runners anywhere from 40-125 back and would also try clipping on 2oz weights 40 back then dropping another 30-70. I'll note I have 15lb mono on the rods and I'm sure there's some extra drag playing into it. None of this resulted in any fish even when marking loads of them at 25-35 feet. What am I doing wrong? Is it just impossible to get the big motors slow enough?

2. Dipsys: Should I be running those instead of clip weights or straight line to bandits? What size wow do you like to set your rigs up for them this time of year?

3. Heading up this weekend: Should I just skip trolling all together and cast erie dearies and harnesses? As I mentioned, we're docked at PIB and would really like to finally get on some fish. I can find smallmouth as much as I want but really want to get the walleye figured out before they're gone.

Thanks for reading. I love to fish but the boat is a huge change and learning curve for me. i know I'll get it figured at some point but wanted to try to cut the curve down a bit by asking you guys.
 

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1 fish is a he!! of alot more than none.
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Your speed seems fine.
I would start simple with 2 rods straight off the back. This is called flatlining. Use the boat to cut a Z shaped path around areas you are marking fish.

Start with a worm harness behind a 4 oz weight. The worm harness should be 6 feet behind. You can achieve this by tying harnesses on 6 feet of line, or use a leader. Make sure there is a swivel between rod and weight, and weight and harness. You worm needs to be water dynamic when trolling. Head first into the top hook, then dangle natural to treble hook below, then dangle the tail. It should not turn in the water. To start fishing it, drop harness and weight into water at side of boat, let out line reeling backwards with speed until it hits bottom. Count the handle turns to bottom. Turn on your anti reverse, make sure drag is set to give a little. Now put the rod in holder and you are fishing.

On the other side, run a TruTrip 40, TT40 with a harness 6 feet behind in the same way as the weight. Let out 35-60 Feet of line, (this is where many people are targeting now). Turn on your anti reverse, make sure drag is set to give a little. Now put the rod in holder and you are fishing.

Thats about a simple as it gets. These lines will run one medium to high (TT40) the other will be medium to low. Try not to cross the lines as you zig and zag the boat. Watch the rod tip to tell you bites. I like to use 6-7 feet medium action Ugly stik rods with braid and a 10 foot fluoro leader for these.

You can run Reefrunners, Bandits, similar to the TT40. Use a board system to run more on each side. You can run slide divers similar to the weight or bottom bouncers too.
Rickerd
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’d bump your speed up to at least 2 knots (2.3 mph) or even a tad higher for dipsys. Bandits or yozuris off boards 80-125 back has been good, dipsys with small stinger spoons has been good 35-65 back depending on your setting. I’d try a 3 setting at 65, a 2 setting at 55 and a 1 setting at 45 to get ya started. Good luck !!
Thanks man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your speed seems fine.
I would start simple with 2 rods straight off the back. This is called flatlining. Use the boat to cut a Z shaped path around areas you are marking fish.

Start with a worm harness behind a 4 oz weight. The worm harness should be 6 feet behind. You can achieve this by tying harnesses on 6 feet of line, or use a leader. Make sure there is a swivel between rod and weight, and weight and harness. You worm needs to be water dynamic when trolling. Head first into the top hook, then dangle natural to treble hook below, then dangle the tail. It should not turn in the water. To start fishing it, drop harness and weight into water at side of boat, let out line reeling backwards with speed until it hits bottom. Count the handle turns to bottom. Turn on your anti reverse, make sure drag is set to give a little. Now put the rod in holder and you are fishing.

On the other side, run a TruTrip 40, TT40 with a harness 6 feet behind in the same way as the weight. Let out 35-60 Feet of line, (this is where many people are targeting now). Turn on your anti reverse, make sure drag is set to give a little. Now put the rod in holder and you are fishing.

Thats about a simple as it gets. These lines will run one medium to high (TT40) the other will be medium to low. Try not to cross the lines as you zig and zag the boat. Watch the rod tip to tell you bites. I like to use 6-7 feet medium action Ugly stik rods with braid and a 10 foot fluoro leader for these.

You can run Reefrunners, Bandits, similar to the TT40. Use a board system to run more on each side. You can run slide divers similar to the weight or bottom bouncers too.
Rickerd
Thanks I'll give this a shot first thing Saturday!
 

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Your speed is fine.But 2.3mph is a good speed right now to catch.Your 15lb mono is fine.That's what we use.You didnt mention that you are using inline boards with your cranks.With a board your leads/ depth much more accurate and cover more area than long lining.
You said you were using a dipsey.The best way to fish them is with a rod holder that holds the rod parallel to the water.That's the way most use them and the leads reflect that rod position.With a dipsey use a 6-7ft leader and run just two at a 3 setting to start.Our best leads last 2 weeks have been [email protected] and [email protected] setting.
One of the easiest way to start catching trolling is dragging a worm harness off a bottom bouncer.Is almost idiot proof.That's how we started back in day.Get a 3oz for 30fow or 4oz for 40fow and put a harness off a 4ft leader.Let line out till feel hits bottom lock reel and put in rod holder off each corner of boat.When got a fish no doubt and just reel in.Good luck.
 

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most important is your safety....jackets handy all the time and get marine radio.

2nd...enjoy the learning process. Don’t get frustrated. You will succeed... and fail. After awhile, the learning will be more fun than just reeling in fish.

Try different things and repeat those that work. Tweak 1 thing at a time to better understand what’s happening. Use this message board as a learning tool as you are doing. Invite someone On your boat who knows the process. Consider taking a teaching charter

ENJOY the great resource
 

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Are you line counter reels Calibrated? If they are not, you should start there. And if you are asking yourself what is calibration, they are not calibrated. LOL if you need to calibrate them, search Youtube for "How to calibrate line counter reels" and there a few out there that wil show you how. Its time consuming, but its the only way to get the bait in the strike zone in my opinion. If they are calibrated, maybe try running Dipseys and spoons to make things easier. Maybe start with 2 rods out each side with one on a #1 and the other on #3 to give you a spread. You can go a little faster with spoons and dispeys 2.0-2.4 mph and it should give you some fish. 4 TT 30's with spoons set out on Offshore planer boards are also a good combination for me set at 45-70 back. I also use 2 TT 40's off the corners at 25-35 back. Its all trial and error, but once you get the reels dialed in, its all speed and getting the bait in the strick zone with calibrated reels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you line counter reels Calibrated? If they are not, you should start there. And if you are asking yourself what is calibration, they are not calibrated. LOL if you need to calibrate them, search Youtube for "How to calibrate line counter reels" and there a few out there that wil show you how. Its time consuming, but its the only way to get the bait in the strike zone in my opinion. If they are calibrated, maybe try running Dipseys and spoons to make things easier. Maybe start with 2 rods out each side with one on a #1 and the other on #3 to give you a spread. You can go a little faster with spoons and dispeys 2.0-2.4 mph and it should give you some fish. 4 TT 30's with spoons set out on Offshore planer boards are also a good combination for me set at 45-70 back. I also use 2 TT 40's off the corners at 25-35 back. Its all trial and error, but once you get the reels dialed in, its all speed and getting the bait in the strick zone with calibrated reels.
Im going to do this first thing tomorrow when we get up
 

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Having full reels is a must. If they’re close to capacity, they’re close enough. Your boat is well suited to all forms of walleye fishing. Being on PIB, I assume your boat will be part time fishing, part time rec & cruising. I’d recommend setting up all your rod holders so they can be removed either by track mounting them or gimbal mounts with cross plates taking advantage of the built in rod holders. Check out similar boats for ideas. When you’re hanging out on PIB, you want to be on your boat without a bunch of rod holders all over the place. Keep it clean with the flexibility of converting to a fishing boat when you want to fish.

Casting weapons and weight forward spinners with crawlers works. It’s a ‘rod in hand, feel the bite’ experience. The walleye population is so large now that there’s never been a better time to fish that way.

Trolling 2-3 dipsy divers per side with spoon, shallow diving crankbait, or worm harness is an easy way to troll once you get through the learning curve.

Trolling crankbait behind inline or big boards (you have a boat well suited for big boards) is an excellent way to fish

Trolling spoon, worm harness, or shallow diving crankbait behind jet or trutrip diver behind inline or big boards is what a lot of charters do. Your boat is in the same class as most charter boats.

If I were you, I’d work on learning all the above techniques over time. This gives you flexibility to figure out what’s working on any given day and fish that way on that given day.

If you’re only on PIB during the prime summer months, spoons & dipsy or spoons & jets or trutrips would be where I’d start

I’d choose a charter who has a boat like yours and fish with them for a day. Think of it as ‘tuition’ enabling you to bypass a couple years learning curve and also get ideas on how to set up your boat


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The very best way to shorten your learning curve is to go out with someone who knows how to do it. There are just so many little things that are critical i.e. Lure tuning, type of line , matching rods, and on and on. If you can't find a ride with an experienced fisherman willing to teach you, then take a learning charter with a captain that knows you're there to learn.
You're in the heart of the walleye capital of the world, don't waist time, you should be catching like most others.
 

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The very best way to shorten your learning curve is to go out with someone who knows how to do it. There are just so many little things that are critical i.e. Lure tuning, type of line , matching rods, and on and on. If you can't find a ride with an experienced fisherman willing to teach you, then take a learning charter with a captain that knows you're there to learn.
You're in the heart of the walleye capital of the world, don't waist time, you should be catching like most others.
just what Jim says That's great advice, saves a lot of time, and money
 

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when I first started fishing the central basin the only place I had seen dipsies was hanging on a shelf, LOL. we took a learning charter out 2 times. I learned how to run 6 divers by hands-on on the charter. then I switched to deeper divers and now run lite bite slide divers like dipsies. we still get a tangle now and again. but it would have taken me yrs to learn what I did in those 2 days. ask for open seats or take a charter out that fishes the way you want to learn. you will learn more in one day on the water with a knowledgeable capt than you'll learn in yrs on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Caught a ton, lost a ton. Had a great time thanks to everyone’s advise! Started west of rattlesnake and headed north to the line. Pulled harnesses all morning. Missed a ton of fish and had a ton of cutoffs on larger fish right above hooks on the harnesses.
 

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And the learning process has begun. Congrats. Be careful, this can become an addiction. Next thing you know you will not be able to pass up a lure sale, you’ll have cases of equipment that you “need” to have on the boat with you every trip, you’ll be spending $ on the latest electronics and assorted gear to help your catch rate And increase average size....I’m not sure who gets hooked more....the fish or fisherman. Congrats again, ENJOY!
 

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Caught a ton, lost a ton. Had a great time thanks to everyone’s advise! Started west of rattlesnake and headed north to the line. Pulled harnesses all morning. Missed a ton of fish and had a ton of cutoffs on larger fish right above hooks on the harnesses.
Nice job! Keep learning more/different techniques.
 

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Lastly and congrats on your success...
Get your baits ABOVE the fish you’re marking. Sometimes way above. If your in 35 fow and marking fish at 25-30fow. Run a bait at 20-25 fow and run a bait at 15- 20 ‘ too. And then bring one higher and lower one or more till you find what the fish want THEN move all baits to that height. Sometimes fish will be high and your electronics aren’t picking up fish that high( and they’re usually active fish) and they never see your baits that are running below them. Keep up the good work and tight lines
 
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Caught a ton, lost a ton. Had a great time thanks to everyone’s advise! Started west of rattlesnake and headed north to the line. Pulled harnesses all morning. Missed a ton of fish and had a ton of cutoffs on larger fish right above hooks on the harnesses.
1st congrats on a great day fishing. I've been fishing Erie for around 35 yrs. I've caught lots of 28" to 32" eyes and never had the 1st cutoff. #1 if your harness is breaking just above the hooks its because the blade is cutting on the line to the point it's weakening the line, I've had this happen to me a couple of times. every time you bring a harness in be sure and feel the line above the hooks for fraying. if the line gets frayed replace the harness.#2 the harness has bad line or to low weight of line for the fish your catching.#3 you have your drag too tight. a walleye has pointed teeth that are not made for cutting.

i have fished Maumee with a jig. I've caught several fish before retying the jig for frayed line. your learning and have a lot to learn. I've been doing it for a while and learn something new every trip.
 

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The other possible reason for your harnesses breaking where the hooks are is from unhooking fish with pliers and nicking the line. It’s really easy to do if your not aware, or not paying attention to where the pliers are grabbing the hooks. Most harnesses are tied by wrapping the hooks shank, which is also where you grab with the pliers to unhook the fish.


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